Why the cow association with Bess?

[name_m]Just[/name_m] out of curiosity, does anyone know why people connect the name [name_f]Bess[/name_f] with cows?

It’s definitely an association for me, but I don’t know what it comes from. Have people always called cows [name_f]Bess[/name_f]? It’s also not just [name_f]Bess[/name_f] that does it- [name_f]Bess[/name_f], [name_f]Bessie[/name_f], [name_f]Betsy[/name_f], [name_f]Bluebell[/name_f], [name_f]Buttercup[/name_f] and [name_f]Betty[/name_f] all make me think of cows, and I don’t know why.

Anyway, I would appreciate it if anyone could shed light on this moostery. (Sorry. I couldn’t resist.)


I don’t associate the name [name_f]Bess[/name_f] with cows, but I have heard it before. I think this explanation makes sense.

“The Latin for cow is bos, which led to cows being called Bossie. For English-speakers who don’t know Latin, [name_f]Bessie[/name_f] makes more sense.”


Moostery, love it. I am not sure where that comes from either. All of those girls’ names have an association to cows for me also. [name_f]Elsie[/name_f] and [name_f]Elsa[/name_f] does to. That comes from [name_f]Elsie[/name_f] the Cow, a mascot for [name_m]Borden[/name_m] Dairy. I want to love [name_f]Elsie[/name_f] but the cow puts a damper on the name for me.

Because [name_m]Walt[/name_m] disney made several cartoons using the names on animals even though in [name_f]England[/name_f] is was being used on a first name bases. [name_m]Walt[/name_m] was quoted saying that to American ears it wouldn’t sound like a real name. Walt did the same thing with the name of Snow white, which I learned as an Adult, that her real name was Snowdrop.

ha! [name_f]My[/name_f] childhood babysitter had a cow named [name_f]Betsy[/name_f]. She was their milk cow, haha. I figured it was from some cartoon (like [name_f]Clarabella[/name_f]–[name_f]Clarabelle[/name_f]?–the cow…), but I don’t know for sure.

[name_f]My[/name_f] grandparents were dairy farmers & named the cows individually… From memory there were a lot with ‘[name_f]Belle[/name_f]’ in their names… So I kind of associate that with cows too… Not that that’s a bad thing :slight_smile:

Actually I think the thing about [name_f]Snow[/name_f] White being [name_f]Snow[/name_f] Drop might be a bit of a misnomer - or great misinformation. If you translate the Grimm fairytale “Schneewittchen” you literally get “[name_f]Snow[/name_f] White”. (Not be to confused with "Schnee Weisschen” which also means is also “[name_f]Snow[/name_f] White” but from a different Fairytale). [name_f]Snow[/name_f] White makes more sense for the myth anyway as her mother wanted a daughter “as pale as snow, with hair as dark as ebony and lips are red as blood”.

I don’t know why I think of a cow when I hear [name_f]Bess[/name_f]/[name_f]Bessie[/name_f] first. I even know a very lovely [name_f]Bess[/name_f] and still can’t really shake the association.